Teardrop trailer?


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erikwillke
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Teardrop trailer?

Postby erikwillke » Thu May 15, 2014 8:49 am



I've searched the entire forum. I have found a good many helpful topics on trailers in general but none on teardrop trailers. I've found some online that are designed to be pulled by a motorcycle but I don't have $25,000. Hell, I don't even have $5000 for a stripped down shell of one.

I'm looking to build one. What I'd like to do is build one like one I saw from Australia. It was a pullout that extended to 6' on the inside while still maintaining a full kitchen in the back.

What I'm looking at is a total, extended length of 8' and a traveling length of 6'. The width of the trailer body (minus wheels) will be roughly 40 inches wide. The rolling height will be somewhere around 5 to 6 feet.

I wanted the full kitchen because I'm planning on two week trips around the country every other year starting two years from now. I'm limited by money and weight. I could use a 153lb 40x48 trailer as a base and build a subframe to extend the length and a longer tongue or I could use a 4x8 trailer and not worry about the sliding part (which would make it easier to build)

What I would really like to do is build a 4x8 so I could use it for the car as well. I"m planning on keeping the weight below 800lbs and I also plan on adding electric trailer brake hubs

Now. Could my friends and brothers (and sisters) kindly shoot holes in my plans so I can find the weak points? Thank you in advance.
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WingAdmin
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Re: Teardrop trailer?

Postby WingAdmin » Thu May 15, 2014 11:21 am

In my opinion, 800 lbs is way, way too heavy to be pulled by a motorcycle. I pull my Aspen Sentry trailer, which is 300 lbs (with 30 lbs tongue weight), perhaps another 50 lbs fully loaded, and that's heavy - I really wouldn't want to pull more than that. 800 lbs is a 250% increase over that - plus you'd need to have a tongue weight of nearly 80 lbs, which severely cuts into the load your bike can carry.

In a corner, an 800 lb trailer can very easily push the rear wheel out of an 800 lb motorcycle, particularly if you hit a bump.

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erikwillke
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Re: Teardrop trailer?

Postby erikwillke » Thu May 15, 2014 12:23 pm

WingAdmin wrote:In my opinion, 800 lbs is way, way too heavy to be pulled by a motorcycle. I pull my Aspen Sentry trailer, which is 300 lbs (with 30 lbs tongue weight), perhaps another 50 lbs fully loaded, and that's heavy - I really wouldn't want to pull more than that. 800 lbs is a 250% increase over that - plus you'd need to have a tongue weight of nearly 80 lbs, which severely cuts into the load your bike can carry.

In a corner, an 800 lb trailer can very easily push the rear wheel out of an 800 lb motorcycle, particularly if you hit a bump.


Makes sense. Thank you.
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RBGERSON
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Re: Teardrop trailer?

Postby RBGERSON » Thu May 15, 2014 7:14 pm

Some one did build one in on another site maybe Saunders not sure really I'll look aroudj a bit..but it didn't weight 800 for sure.
HAD LOTS OF GOLDWING 75-83
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Re: Teardrop trailer?

Postby cal3san » Fri May 16, 2014 7:00 am

I was coming down 64 and saw one of the Gadget TD trailers at a dealer in Apex, NC. Got my interest so I did a u-turn and stopped for a visit. When the gent mentioned 800 pounds I blinked but he did say they sold a 600 pound model sans the kitchen. In each instance he said tongue weight was about 60 "but you have to ask a salesman to be sure."
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Re: Teardrop trailer?

Postby hondageorge » Sat May 17, 2014 12:32 am

I have to agree with WingAdmin from experience. I pull a Bunkhouse up and down the entire east coast behind my 97 SE1500 and it is about 350 lbs. That's a lot of weight behind the bike. Everyone says: Piece of cake on the highway, it sure is, ... but you get your hands full in a hurry on the backroads leading to some campgrounds....sorry, no turning around either. No way would I consider 800#. to control behind my bike. And I always wanted a Teardrop rather then the Bunkhouse. I even down-sized to a HF 78" tag-along trailer (rated for 200 lbs.m/c) (HF item 66771 16.6 CF storage space) for a across the nation Montana/Wyoming trip to help lessen my driver fatigue during the month+ long trip. Whatever you pull, after 400 lbs, it may be necessary, but not necessarily fun.

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Aussie_Rider
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Re: Teardrop trailer?

Postby Aussie_Rider » Sat May 17, 2014 7:04 am

I tow my Home-made Teardrop Trailer behind my GL1500

It weighs 245 kg (540 lb) with a 25 kg (55 lb) ball weight.

It has a 4' wide mattress, 12v battery under the floor, digital TV, 4 speaker stereo, LED lighting and a lockable cupboard inside.

It does not have a kitchen in the back to save on weight. I find that a small folding aluminum table and a portable gas cooker work just fine for my needs.

I recently put it on a stronger and heavier trailer (See pictures below).

I used to have it on a lighter/simple A-frame trailer with torsion suspension and 8 inch tires but I didn't really like the little tires so I moved it onto a 6x4 trailer that is about 40 kg (88 lb) heavier with leaf springs and 12" wheels.

I also use mirror extensions so I can see around it while towing.

Here are some pics of it.


1988 GL1500 Goldwing
1988 Honda VLX Steed

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WvChamp
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Re: Teardrop trailer?

Postby WvChamp » Sat May 17, 2014 8:10 am

Nice setup Aussie_Rider. I also like the canopee/garage you have over everything. You have different angle pics of it? Or manufacture?
Thanks in advance,
WvChamp

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robb
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Re: Teardrop trailer?

Postby robb » Sat May 17, 2014 8:54 am

Last week we were fueling at a truck stop when a GL1200 pulled up to a pump. Behind was a trailer carrying a 2014 HD Ultra Trike his wife bought for her 65 birthday. He made it from Tennessee to High Point NC with little effort on his way to Myrtle Beach Bike Week. They were not little and when they got off the bike did raise, so he did a good job with tongue weight. Leaving it did not look like a problem as they entered a heavy traffic area.

Got a GL1500 buddy who does some crazy stuff with his 88, usually 60-80 pounds tongue weight. Delivered flowers to his wife for mothers day and passed him pulling hay trailer with the bike. Four wheel trailer with tongue rotating front axle, 5 x 10, and he was doing more than 35 mph when we passed. She said the Gator was in the shop and cows need feeding. Ain't nothing to see him pulling a tow dolly with scrap car he bought. When the transmission went out on my wife's Town And Country mini van he towed it home, about 10 miles and it weighs 4500 pounds. He does comment that it is easier if the load is lower than the windshield height.

One only needs to look at a Volkswagon to see how far some will go, and it's far underpowered from any Wing.

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themainviking
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Re: Teardrop trailer?

Postby themainviking » Sat May 17, 2014 9:56 am

robb wrote:Last week we were fueling at a truck stop when a GL1200 pulled up to a pump. Behind was a trailer carrying a 2014 HD Ultra Trike his wife bought for her 65 birthday. He made it from Tennessee to High Point NC with little effort on his way to Myrtle Beach Bike Week. They were not little and when they got off the bike did raise, so he did a good job with tongue weight. Leaving it did not look like a problem as they entered a heavy traffic area.

Got a GL1500 buddy who does some crazy stuff with his 88, usually 60-80 pounds tongue weight. Delivered flowers to his wife for mothers day and passed him pulling hay trailer with the bike. Four wheel trailer with tongue rotating front axle, 5 x 10, and he was doing more than 35 mph when we passed. She said the Gator was in the shop and cows need feeding. Ain't nothing to see him pulling a tow dolly with scrap car he bought. When the transmission went out on my wife's Town And Country mini van he towed it home, about 10 miles and it weighs 4500 pounds. He does comment that it is easier if the load is lower than the windshield height.

One only needs to look at a Volkswagon to see how far some will go, and it's far underpowered from any Wing.


Mostly it is not the towing, but the stopping that is problematic. When one has an extra thousand or more pounds pushing on the braked tires of a motorcycle with a four inch by five inch patch of stopping power on the ground, it can get real hairy, real quick. I learned my lesson pulling a small motorcycle tent trailer with my Harley Softail, and used the FRONT brake. It has a 21 inch front wheel and the tire patch on the ground was probably 11/2 inches wide and 3 inches long at a maximum. I let that puppy go in a hurry and got on the back brake. A guy who saw it asked if I had a brake problem and I told him NO... it just don't take me long to test it..... Hawwwwwwww, snork. Then I went in the batroom and cleaned up......

Really, and realistically, more than 500 pounds behind a motorcycle is less than safe. Electric brakes will help a whole lot, but getting them perfectly adjusted is difficult. As WingAdmin mentioned, on back roads and especially on sand or gravel roads, an 800 pound trailer could just push your back wheel out from under you.

All that said, these guys microlitetrailer.com used to make a teardrop trailer they called the MotoMate, which was suitable to pull behind a motorcycle or small car. It was not really wide enough for two, but could sleep one person comfortably. I think it was only three feet wide inside, but it only weighed around 490 pounds. Contacting them might get more info, or even a left over one for sale. They sold for around $4K IIRC.

UPDATE: They seem to be selling at a discount. I found one here in Ontario for sale here:

http://www.mcfarlanetrailersales.com/in ... te-trailer

And in fact, I may have found one in Wisconsin:

http://www.cyclesplusinc.com/pre_owned_ ... eh=3520198
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themainviking
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Re: Teardrop trailer?

Postby themainviking » Sat May 17, 2014 10:33 am

Okay, I found a page at microlite with the full specs of the Moto-Mate. It is really only 330 pounds dry weight, which is not bad at all.

http://www.microlitetrailer.com/MLThome4.htm
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Re: Teardrop trailer?

Postby Uncle Fester » Sat May 17, 2014 2:44 pm

The weight issue with a tear drop, and alot of other trailers, is part of what concerns me. . .and why I have decided to build a SMALL trailer.

I plan to start with a HF 42708 40" x 49" trailer, trim it down to a 36" x 40" deck, add stake side style rails, and have a tarp made to fit over the rails to protect my gear from rain or _______ .

I will not be able to sleep on it, but it will carry my tent, cots, sleeping bags, clothes, food, and cook gear . I figure I can keep gear weight down to 200-250 MAX, for a max weight of 400.

I like the idea of the trailer being narrow enough that I know if the bike fits between what ever, the trailer will too.
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Re: Teardrop trailer?

Postby redial » Sun May 18, 2014 3:22 am

RoadRogue has a pretty comfortable looking setup, if you look through the 'memory banks' you will find him enjoying his GW and trailer configuration.
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Re: Teardrop trailer?

Postby Aussie_Rider » Sun May 18, 2014 4:27 am

WvChamp wrote:Nice setup Aussie_Rider. I also like the canopee/garage you have over everything. You have different angle pics of it? Or manufacture?
Thanks in advance,
WvChamp


It's a "Coleman Event 14"



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http://www.coleman.com/product/9391-144#.U3h7i3ZaZsw
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Re: Teardrop trailer?

Postby cquestguy » Sun May 18, 2014 7:35 am

I suggest you check out www.tnttt.com. They have a wealth of information on all aspects of teardrop trailers. You can use the index to find the threads on building teardrops out of foam insulation panels. Very lightweight and strong almost like fiberglass when finished. And not too expensive. I started to build one for hauling my wife's mobility scooter behind my trike, but was able to pick up an alternative at a decent price before I was finished it. I must say it was coming together well before I stopped construction and I think would have been cool to see behind my trike. I think you should be able to keep it under 300 to 350 even loaded with your gear. Construction is very easy and you build it to your own specs. Good luck!

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Re: Teardrop trailer?

Postby OldZX11Rider » Tue Nov 29, 2016 4:10 pm

Aussie Rider, the photos of your bike and teardrop trailer look real nice. Has the width of the trailer caused you any problems while you were traveling with it?


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